The controversy over black artists' involvement with this year's Super Bowl Half Time Show continues -- even on Super Bowl Sunday. But not all African-American musicians side with Colin Kaepernick and his supporters when it comes to Super Bowl LII.
While artists like Rihanna reportedly declined invitations to perform at the show in solidarity with Kaepernick and his peaceful, "take a knee" protest of racially fueled police brutality in America, rapper Akon, who's in Atlanta for this weekend's football festivities, seems to believe the black music community can benefit from performances by Travis Scott, Big Boi, Gladys Knight and, presumably, Maroon 5's PJ Morton.
TMZ caught up with Akon this weekend and asked what he thought of artists' refusal to play at the game and calls for those will perform to take a knee while onstage.
"I think all of that's stupid," Akon said in a clip posted on the website. "You're in this business for two reasons: One is to make an impact, and two is for the business of it. Now if you a philanthropist … If that's something that you feel like you believe in, and you fight for it? You have every right. But if you doing it and you look at it as a way of expanding who you are as an artist and as a business, you also have a right."
After asserting there's no "right or wrong answer" to the "perform or don't perform" question, he asked why a black artist wouldn't want to "perform in one of the biggest events in the world," saying, "That don't help us, we need you to be on that stage." '
He also suggested a better approach would be to find a compromise.
"I just think sometimes people take social issues and make it a lot [more] serious than it has to be," he explained. "At the end of the day we all gotta live in this world together. And there's always going to be somebody who feels they're being treated unfairly, there's always going to be an imbalanced [sic] situation, but as people we have to compromise certain situations to get to better places."
Last week, famed R&B and soul singer Knight, an Atlanta native like Big Boi, said on "Today" that she struggled with the decision about whether to sing the National Anthem at the game but ultimately decided she could potentially use her performance "as an opportunity to bring people together," according to Craig Melvin (via Essence).
Before agreeing to play the Half Time Show, Scott included in his deal with the NFL a stipulation that they make a large donation to the social justice accelerator, Dream Corps.
Maroon 5 later announced it would make a donation with the NFL to the Boys and Girls Club of America. The NFL canceled the usual Half Time Show performer press conference.
- 19 hours ago These actors have worked together more than once